In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program in which two trained presenters share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. The In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness Program is NAMI’s national effort to educate the general public and, more importantly, change the attitudes, preconceived notions and stereotypes of who and what persons living with mental illness look and act like.
An In Our Own Voice presentation consists of a 15 minute video and two trained presenters who give their own first-hand experience on what it is like to live with a mental illness. The video and presentation is divided into four sections, starting with an Introduction and moving on to the sequential topics of Dark Days, Acceptance, Treatment, Coping Skills and finally Successes, Hopes and Dreams. At each interval, the presenters share part of their story and then engage the audience in a discussion on the topic. The message represented in the video and by the presenters is both powerful and heartfelt. Presenters with the IOOV program put a face on mental illness that will resonate with the public and help them better understand the realities of persons living with mental illness. The entire length of the In Our Own Voice presentation is approximately 45 minutes.